Sunday, December 2, 2007


Pole oil on canvas 36" X 36" Chris De Dier

The paintings that satisfy me the most contain the least amount of drama. Our lives in the 21st Century are so cluttered with highly saturated attention grabbers like advertisements, TV's, movies, photographs, radio's, etc. that it is a relief to look at something calming for a while. I think this painting achieves that effect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rich And Poor

Climbing Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, TX is becoming almost too popular. I try to go at least once each year, usually in the Fall or early Winter, and each time it is becoming more crowded. It used to be there were only a few people. This time, they were everywhere. Given its size, the State of Texas has a shameful low percentage of public land. And where admission to Parks is free in a number of States, in Texas it is costing more and more for the privilege of breathing some fresh air and being out in nature. That makes Texas rich in oil and finances, poor in preserving its natural bounty for the enjoyment of all.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blink And You Will See

I paint transitive blinks. Open and shut the eyes rapidly to remove distracting detail . This way, economy of paint and information has often a direct relationship to the level of success in my paintings. Rather than offering the viewer a pre-chewed story through a highly detailed image devoid of any chance to improvise, I prefer to challenge - or tease - the viewer to some degree into deciding for themselves what exactly it is that they are looking at. There are a number of obvious clues as guidance, bits of information that determine the general theme of a painting. I personally think my best work is where that amount of information is stripped to the bare minimum. For example in the painting below, one clearly sees a typical landscape. There is what looks like a horizon, a foreground below it and a sky above it. There is a bright disk in the sky; an obscured sun or moon? Are there distant trees on the horizon? And what exactly is going on in the foreground? Is that jagged diagonal line a trail of sand or is it a puddle of water? All are valid assumptions. It does not matter which one is right because it bears no importance. Looking at paintings that bring up questions like that are more interesting to me.

Night oil on canvas 24" X 30" Chris De Dier

Monday, November 19, 2007

Her Style Can Be Trusted

Mary Jo Matsumoto knows style and possesses a keen talent for seeking out new trends. Make a habit of regularly visiting her informative blog for the latest news on fashion and design.

And while there you may also want to read what she had to say about my blog on Monday November 19 2007, so you know it's official now - and it is coming from a trusted source: Hooked On Art is cool.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pedernales River Hike

The months October and November are a wonderful period to be in Central Texas. The temperatures are perfect and the humidity is much less than during the summer. Ideal for hikes and outdoor picnics. The air is crisp, providing for great color contrast and saturation in photographs. Pedernales Falls Park, west of Austin, is a favorite place to spend an afternoon this time of the year.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Upside Down

Here also I took a different approach. This painting has the horizon near the top, with the bands of clouds in the sky reflected by the foggy water of the lake.

Cool oil on linen 36" X 36" Chris De Dier
Cool - detail

Up Early

Reflection oil on canvas 36" X 48" Chris De Dier

This painting is an experiment with lights and darks. The darkness of the forest in the early morning underscores the light pink and gray in the sky and creates a mood of silence and calm despite the high contrast.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who is Kaat?

Who is Kaat? My cousin Kitty's fashion store in Ninove, Belgium bears that name but when she mentioned that starting next year Kaat will carry the collections of Kaat Tilley, a little bell rang way back in my head. Kaat Tilley.... I knew that name. It brought back vague memories of the St. Lucasinstitute in Brussels where I studied design about.... hmmm.... dare I say 30 years ago. Darn, I'm getting old!
Anyway, turns out this former classmate of mine became an accomplished artist and renowned fashion designer. Glad to know someone made it big! Check out these links. They're certainly interesting.

A drawing by Kaat Tilley

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It Is Not A Deer

Paolo is a dog. He is not a deer-dog, neither is he a reindeer. The questions that people ask me about his classification in the animal world are funny or sad, depending on who is posing the question, a child or an adult. He is an Italian Greyhound. That makes him definitely and officially a dog. He barks like dogs do, and he has paws instead of hooves. He runs very fast and probably could keep pace with a deer but that is as far as the comparison holds up.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Already! What happened to September? Did someone speed up the time?
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here soon too.
I can tell Summer is over. The nights are getting a little cooler, enough to be able to turn the A/C off and have some windows open. Trees are beginning to shed leaves. There is change in the air.
And Halloween around the corner.... what will I wear this year?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Tunes

Last year I stumbled onto the chance to see a live performance of Thievery Corporation, which until then had been unknown to me. Their music immediately entranced me and I went out the next day to buy their last CD, Versions. It has been my favorite CD since then and I play it almost every day without getting tired of it. Highly recommended!
I can't wait for their next CD to come out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lost Skills

In the pictures below are some Roman artifacts from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. There is a certain energy and intellectually stimulating liveliness in these fragments, be it the tormented expression of a Herakles, the flow of the robe and subtly inviting body language of a decapitated statue, the introspective gaze of the Emperor Caligula, the innocent pose of an aristocratic youth, the beautiful anatomy of a Centaur's torso, ....

There is an almost surreal beauty to a lot of these sculpture fragments that survived total destruction at the fall of the Roman Empire. One can only wonder how much and what we are missing.

The artists of the Roman Empire had developed unsurpassed skills, borrowed from the Greeks and adding to what they learned from them, leaving what must have been an enormously rich legacy, until Christianity made an end to it, blatantly destroyed whatever it could, and plunged us in the Dark Ages. Until our time, we haven't recovered yet.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Not So Dark

One of my paintings is the focal point of the decor of the master bedroom of a featured home in the Summer 2007 issue of Beautiful Homes - a Better Homes and Gardens Publication. It is is a perfect example of how a painting of a stormy sky can add life, color and visual interest to a well decorated room without a hint of depressiveness or threat, or without disturbing the peacefulness of a bedroom.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mother Boards

Looking down from the observation dack high on the Empire State Building, the grid of the streets and tops of the surrounding buildings reminded me most of the electronic boards in my computer.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Trend Setter Or Follower?

Pablo Picasso has never held much of my admiration. There are a few of his works here and there that I like, such as the one directly below. Most of his work however is in my opinion vastly overrated. He had a tendency to jump from one style to another, adopting whatever the latest fad of the day was and claiming it as his own. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, but there are numerous artists that were much better at it and never made it to the spotlight like Picasso did. His paintings are OK but they certainly are not outstanding enough to deserve all the hype that surrounds his signature.

It is interesting comparing the following three pairs of paintings. The odd numbered ones are each by artists who became known for the style they worked in. The even numbered paintings are by Picasso.

1. Kasimir Malevich Reservist Of The First Division

2. Pablo Picasso Green Still Life

3. Juan Gris Guitar And Glasses

4. Pablo Picasso Student With A Pipe

5. George Braque Road Near L'Estaque

6. Pablo Picasso Landscape

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Opposite End

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park, NYC, is another temple in this great city. Opposite to the adoration of crude commercialism at Times Square, this temple is dedicated to the accomplishments of the human race in its pursuit of timeless beauty and true quality in the visual and decorative arts. We spent 6 hours there until our feet were screaming of fatigue and we could not absorb anything more; and haven't still seen half of the displayed collections. It is a gigantic warehouse, filled to the brim with art of all ages and cultures; truly a source of inspiration. We started this culturally enriching tour with a very early lunch at the museum's cafetaria and ended it appropriately in style with a High Tea at the ground floor restaurant.

A Contrast

One evening we went to Times Square... the temple of American wastefulness. A chaotic farce of uncountable people and traffic engulfed by enormous illuminated billboards, smothering the surrounding buildings like poisonous parasites. Blaring useless advertising in such pretentious multitude and scale that it all turns into a psychedelic blur - a cocaine party staged by the big corporations. It's a moving, constantly changing combination of art installation, performing art, commercialism, American culture.... A must see, even as once is plenty enough. And I can't imagine being there on a New Year's Eve!

I returned to the hotel feeling mentally indigested, heavy with sensory overload and somewhat sad. I look at this as an ultimate public display of the decadence and greed of our times - a forebode of the dooming demise of Western Civilization?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Massive Curves

It was a real treat to see Richard Serra's monumental sculptures at the MoMA. I had seen a piece by him earlier this year at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, TX (see Nasher Garden of August 7, 2007) and was quite impressed by the scale and impact of his work. The enormous solid steel plates undulate back and forth at different curved degrees, yet the top line remains consistently horizontal.
Below are pictures of parts of two of his pieces exhibited in the courtyard of the MoMA, while the largest sculptures were on view inside the museum, on the second floor! How did they fit them in there!?